Hoop Group Alumni College NABC Give Back Team Nominees 2018

Jam Fest Spotlight: Tommy O’Neil Speaks with Hoop Group on Basketball After Pitt Jam Fest

NBA Playoffs 1st Round Breakout Players

The Evolution of Anthony Davis and the Pelicans

Bigger Than Ball Vol. 10: Balsa Koprivica

Basketball Instruction with Coach Bryan Weber: 3 on 3 Close Outs

Hoop Group Elite Camp Director Bryan Weber takes you through the process of running the three-on-three close out drill. This drill focuses on closing out on shooters, crisp entry passes into the post, and then contains a live 3 on 3 finish to it. Perfect warm up drill to start practice!

Follow the Hoop Group:
Bryan Weber @Coach_Weber
James Albano @JN_Albano
The Hoop Group @TheHoopGroup

Finch’s Fab 40

Ryan Finch

First off, HUGE congratulations to the President’s Day Showdown Champions:


U12 – Team Nation (NJ) defeated Shoreshots-Finch

MVP Trey Patterson (25 pts in Championship Game)


U13- New Heights (NY) defeated JSL

MVP Lovell Stadon (23 pts in Championship Game)


U14- NY Shooting Stars defeated Central Jersey Hawks

MVP Dajavaugh Utley (29 pts in Championship Game)


 (Follow Hoop Group on Facebook to see additional action photos)

This past weekend I wrote down 40 players in all divisions who stood out to me either by scoring, rebounding, defending, or just doing whatever their team needed to win. Each player mentioned below is invited to join me this summer at our Hoop Group Skills Junior Elite Weekends.



-Trey Patterson (Team Nation) – Didn’t take much time after warm ups for this young man to catch my attention. Scoring well beyond the 3 point line and collecting multiple “And 1” ‘s earning him the MVP.

– Nashawn Holmes (Team Nation) – His aggressiveness and athleticism had Team Nation running the fast break all weekend.

– Timothy Evidente (CJ Hawks) – Play making Guard who understands when to shoot and when to get his teammates involved. Bright future ahead for this young man.

– Mahir Sharif (Chester Select) – The definition of a floor general. Almost helped his team advance to the Semi Finals.

– Damir Daez (Chester Select)- Might not be a player who fills the stat sheet but will do all the little things to win that ALL coaches appreciate.

– Abubcar Dallo (Team Scan)- The biggest thing that caught my eye with this kid is how well he was able to finish in traffic.

– Juan Smith (JJ Hoops) Big body post who runs well for his size and has a soft touch around the basket.

– Phillip Wheeler (JJ Hoops) Long, crafty wing who seemed to have his hands on everything!

– Drew Frankel (JS Phoenix) – Face up post who has solid guard skills that caused fits for the opposing coach.

– Kevin Bauman (JS Phoenix) – The best post player I saw in the U12 bracket. I was most impressed with his ability to guard other teams’ guards!

– Jack Giamanco (JS Phoenix) – Scoring point guard who is an outstanding on the ball defender.

– Griffin Rooney (Westfield) – Stretched the defense shooting the ball well from 3. Leader on the court as well.

– Colin Freer (Westfield) – His presents on the floor made his teammates better. Gave his team plenty of extra chances with numerous offensive rebounds.

– Eric Brown (Prime Sports) – Intelligent player that sees the floor & rebounds well for a guard.

– Zion Cruz (Team Nation) –Lights out shooter who might have had the most steals in the U12 bracket.

– Matthew Weidman (Shoreshots) – The word “toughness” can’t be repeated more when speaking about this Point Guard. Breaks down defenses with dribble penetration.

– Drew Valentino (Shoreshots) –  Physical post who collected most of his points facing up and “bulldoging” his way to the hoop.

– Chad Chambers (Shoreshots) – “Bob Hurley Leadership Award”.Shot extremely well plus hustled to make his teammates better.

-Tommy Hanks (NJ Pythons) – Never backed down from contact with his ability to finish at the rim and take charges.


– Lovell Stadon (New Heights) – MVP of the championship game with 23 points, but high light full court outlet pass had the crowd on their feet.

– Mark Bruce (New Heights) – Extremely skilled post. In all 3 games not one team had an answer for him.

– Elijah (JSL) &  Brandon Wilson (JSL) – Monster wings who made played well off eachother. JSL is an AAU program people WILL hear more about this Spring

– Roger Folger (Toms River) – Fought  every minute on the floor &  that competitiveness rubbed off on the rest of his teammates.

– Mark Beroski (NY Pythons) – His leadership throughout the 2 days was just as important as all the shots he made and rebounds grabbed.


– Kyle Cardaci (CJ Hawks) – Smart, fundamental player who can knock down the open 3.

– Chris Pina (CJ Hawks) – Face up forward who is dangerous when receiving the ball in the middle of the zone. Slasher! Outstanding Championship game vs NYSS.

– TJ Fosque (JJ Hoops) – Long framed, athletic forward who has TONS of potential.

– Dallas Watson (NY Shooting Stars) -Made every big time shot when his team needed it. Most of his points came off his beautiful pull up jump shot (lost art!)

– Raheem Solomon (NY Shooting Stars) – Still can’t believe this young man can run the point at his size and strength. Loved how he kept the emotions of his team together through adversity.

– Dejavaugh Utley (NY Shooting Stars) – When the lights were on this young man performed! 29 points in the championship game and was a monster in the open court.

– Nkosi Cooper (NY Shooting Stars)- “DAVE HOPLA AWARD” . Best shooter of the tournament.

– Ryan Allender (Shoreshots) – His double figure scoring first half vs Quincy Douby Elite caught my eye!

– Trevor Covey (Shoreshots) – Soft touch on his shot even if it’s around the rim or behind the 3 point line.

– Alex Morton (Shoreshots) – Ultimate STAT FILLER. Never backs down from a matchup and caught the crowd’s attention with a few open court blocks and no look passes.

– James Leible (NY Lightning) – BEST POST PLAYER of the weekend. Had more rebounds than anyone. Playing the entire game and never slowed down.

– BJ Saliba (NY Lightning) – Add his scoring ability from all over the floor and his rainbow socks it was impossible NOT to notice this talented wing.

– Jah Pugh (NY Lightning) – “KEVIN BOYLE PLAY MAKER AWARD”. Worth the price of admission. What caught my attention was his passion when others scored. Unselfish, but let’s not forget about his half court buzzer beater Saturday.

– Luke Valentino (Quincy Douby Elite) –Excellent shooter that is constantly moving on offense. The definition of a true winner!

– Jayon Jackson (Quincy Douby Elite) – Relentless on the offensive boards. Offensively can play all 5 positions.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the great weekend of hoops at Hoop Group Headquarters. The President’s Day Showdown was just the first of many highly competitive AAU Tournaments the Hoop Group is hosting this spring.

Upcoming Tournaments @ Hoop Group Headquarters

Tournament of Champions (U10-U16) March 15 & 16

 Spring Showdown 1 (U14-U17) April 18 & 19

 Spring Showdown 2 (U9-U13) April 26 & 27

 NJ Jr Jam Fest (U12-U15) May 3 & 4

 NJ Jam Fest (U14- Open) May 16 -18

 Summer Showdown Phase 1 (U10-U14) June 7 & 8

 Summer Showdown Phase 2 (U14- Open) June 28 & 29


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